The Richmond Register

Local News

August 30, 2013

New Liberty Shelter offers home to families in need

RICHMOND — “I'm very thankful that I have a shelter over my head,” Jenny Mounts said, quickly tidying up her kitchen counter. “I was knocked down, but I'm getting helped back up.”

Mounts is a single mother working to raise her 5-year-old son. She said she and the boy’s father used to split the bills at her former home. But, that all changed when the father was arrested after he was involved in a DUI accident.

Unable to pay her bills, Mounts said she had nowhere to go. Then she found the New Liberty Family Shelter on East Main Street.

New Liberty has been serving the Richmond community for nearly 100 years, according to the Rev. Robert Blythe, chairman of the liaison committee for the New Liberty Baptist Sunday School Convention Inc., which now runs the shelter.

“The first thing it was used for was housing for elderly African Americans,” Blythe said. “When I was young, we referred to it as the 'old folks home.’”

Blythe said New Liberty housed the elderly for a long time, but when the city's building codes were eventually updated, the old building was deemed unusable as a home for the elderly because of the difficulty some may have in reaching its second floor.

About 1990, the house was partially renovated by a farmer in Clark County and used to house migrant workers.

When the workers eventually left the area, the building was purchased by the New Liberty Baptist group, working with the Kentucky River Foothills Development Council. The partnership applied for and received grants which they used to build a second building behind the first, giving the shelter six apartments.

Since then, Kentucky River Foothills has separated from the shelter, but remains supportive of it. Vicki Jozefowicz, the council’s executive director, said the move was made for strategic purposes, so both organizations could apply for grants separately and continue their work in the area.

The apartments are now used to house families that have fallen on hard times. Families may stay up to six months, and are given other assistance by the Sunday school convention to get back on their feet.

Blythe said all six apartments are full at any given time, and there’s a waiting list of about 20 families to be considered when a family moves out. That doesn’t count individuals looking for a place to stay or those seeking shelter for only one or two nights. They are directed to the Salvation Army, which operates a shelter mostly for individuals.

The New Liberty organization is planning for the future by preparing to launch a fundraising campaign, Blythe said. In the long term, the pastor of First Baptist Church on Francis Street, who also serves on the Richmond City Commission, said he’d like to see the original building replaced with a new one that better meets the city’s code requirements. And, adding a third building could be a goal. However, even maintaining the current shelter and staff can be a challenge, he said.

According to a brochure for the shelter, just the monthly costs to cover utilities, two employees and maintenance is about $5,500. And that doesn’t account for unexpected expenses. Kayla Johnson, a resident at the shelter, said her air conditioner stopped working and needed to be fixed.

The shelter does receive some assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, toured the shelter Aug. 24. Barr praised the volunteers who work at the shelter and those who donate food and money, saying he was glad to see it receives community support.

But despite the challenges faced by the shelter, the residents in the apartments speak highly of their experiences there.

“Things happen for a reason,” Mounts said. “And I have a family now, all the people living and working here.”

(Editor’s Note: The New Liberty Family Shelter, which is named for the organization that operates it, should not be confused with the nearby Liberty Place Recover Center for Women. Both have affiliation with Kentucky River Foothills Development Council.)

Seth Littrell can be reached at or 624-6623.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

     View Results